Proving once again that for the campus, green does indeed mean go, UCSB recently unveiled a comprehensive 20-year plan designed to increase environmental efficiency.
Approved late last month, the Campus Sustainability Plan – developed as a “living document” that will be updated regularly – will focus on a comprehensive agenda of environmental programs. The plan, which will be overseen by the newly formed Campus Committee for Sustainability, targets nine areas for reform, including academics, research, transportation, landscape and environment.
After issuing his stamp of approval, Chancellor Henry T. Yang stated via e-mail that the project will demonstrate initial results as well as yield future benefits.
“[The Campus Sustainability Plan] will serve as both the long-term vision and a blueprint for our campus’s sustainability efforts,” Yang said.
According to the UCSB Web site, the plan’s primary objective is to “reduce and ultimately eliminate waste streams on campus with the ultimate goal of a net zero-waste campus through implementation of ‘cradle to cradle’ processes and practices.” Cradle-to-cradle mechanisms involve biological materials that can be reused or recycled.
Campus Sustainability Coordinator Jill Richardson said $150,000 was issued for the execution of the plan, but that the committee is still in the process of determining how to allocate funds.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Ron Cortez, who is responsible for the plan’s execution, said although UCSB is already a leader in recycling and waste management, further initiative is necessary to achieve sustainability.
“UCSB currently diverts 54 percent of its waste from the landfill,” Cortez said. “We are exploring options to enhance the recycling program on campus to increase diversion in the near future.”
According to Cortez, one component of the plan involves the transformation of campus toilets.
“Many urinals on campus have been replaced with waterless [units], which save 40,000 gallons of water per urinal per year,” Cortez said. “[The Green Initiative Fund] just funded an additional 20 more in Davidson Library, Ellison Hall and Cheadle Hall.”
TGIF is a quarterly $2.60 per student fee that was passed in spring 2006. The fund is allocated among different environmental projects after review from the Grants Making Committee.
Cortez said another element of the sustainability plan will focus on the availability of environmentally friendly transportation services on campus.
“ZipCars provide hourly rental for anyone in the campus and surrounding communities,” Cortez said. “UCSB fleet uses electric carts, hybrids, natural gas and biodiesel vehicles that make up over 20 percent of the entire fleet.”